Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Antigone

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
3 stars
It may have taken a while for Lung Ha’s Theatre Company to get to the 
Greeks, but now they’re on it, it looks like near perfect if overdue 
match. Adrian Osmond’s faithful new take on Sophocles’ tragedy of one 
young woman’s willingness to die for a cause in the face of misguided 
power similarly takes advantage of the play’s choral structure to 
include some twenty-five performers with learning disabilities into the 
play’s complex web of political and inter-personal constructs without 
ever looking forced.

A wonderful addition here too is the presence of five members of the 
National Youth Orchestras of Scotland Futures programme, who play 
Kenneth Dempster’s live score for flute, French horn, clarinet, violin 
and viola with a dextrous urgency that adds much to the drama.
Spread out on Becky Minto’s monumental-looking set and dressed in 
utilitarian basics that hints at some kind of enforced collectivism, 
the cast strike heightened poses in the face of Creon’s authority, even 
as he’s shunned by the nation he claims to be acting for. Maria Oller’s 
production retains this sense of stylised classicism throughout, with 
the music at times driving the action.

At the heart of all this is Nicola Tuxworth’s Antigone, an already 
feisty and fearless heroine played with similar courage and pluck. 
Without ever over-egging any modern-day acts of defiance, as the 
curtains that mask assorted atrocities morph into angel wings for 
Antigone as her fate is sealed, it is plain that Tuxworth’s 
trouble-maker is one of the ninety-nine per cent who could have stepped 
straight from the Occupy movement to stand up for something the Creons 
of this world only see when it’s too late.

The Herald, March 20th 2012

ends

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